Suicide bombings kill 76, top al-Qaida militant captured in Iraq
www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-24 01:51:13   Print

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

°§Two suicide bombings killed 76 and wounded some 120 others Thursday.
°§Security forces announced capture of a suspected top leader of al-Qaida in Iraq network.
°§Deadly bombings have increased dramatically in Iraqi cities recently.

    by Jamal Hashim

    BAGHDAD, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Iraq was rocked by two suicide bombings which killed 76 people and wounded some 120 others on Thursday as the security forces announced the capture of a suspected top leader of al-Qaida in Iraq network.

    The most deadly attack occurred near the town of Maqdadiyah, some 100 km northeast of Baghdad, in the volatile province of Diyala, when a suicide bomber struck Iranian Shiite pilgrims inside a restaurant during lunch time.

Residents gather at the site of a suicide bombing in Baghdad April 23, 2009. A suicide bomber wearing a vest stuffed with explosives blew himself up in a group of police distributing relief supplies in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 50, Iraqi police said.
(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    About 48 people were killed, during which 43 are Iranian pilgrims taking a rest in the restaurant after they crossed the border through the Mundhriyah border point in Diyala to visit the holy Shiite shrines in Iraq, a provincial police source said.

    Up to 70 others were wounded, 50 of them Iranians, the source said on condition of anonymity.

    The blast destroyed parts of the restaurant and badly damaged several civilian vehicles, he said.

    It is the single deadliest attack since December last year when a suicide bombing killed about 50 people in a restaurant near the northern city of Kirkuk.

    In Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew his explosive belt among a crowd of policemen distributing Iraqi Red Crescent food parcels to displaced families in Elwiyah area, part of Baghdad's central district of Karradah.

A soldier investigates the site of a suicide bombing in Baghdad April 23, 2009. A suicide bomber wearing a vest stuffed with explosives blew himself up in a group of police distributing relief supplies in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 50, Iraqi police said.
(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    The attack claimed the lives of some 28 Iraqis and wounded 50 others, the police said, adding that 12 policemen were among the killed and 10 others among the wounded.

    Shortly after the two suicide attacks, an Iraqi security spokesman said security troops captured Abu Omer al-Baghdadi, one of the most wanted top al-Qaida leaders.

    Baghdadi is believed to be heading the Islamic State of Iraq, a Qaida-led umbrella organization of extremist Sunni militants groups.

    "Abu Omer al-Baghdadi, head of what so-called the Islamic State of Iraq, has been captured in Baghdad," Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan told reporters, adding that Baghdadi will be interrogated before putting on show on Iraqi television.

    He said Iraqi security forces identified him at an intersection in eastern Baghdad and that his arrest was based on intelligence tips.

    However, Baghdadi's capture could not be confirmed yet as Iraqi security forces had reported Baghdadi's arrest in the past but later said they made mistake.

    In 2007, the U.S. military said Baghdadi could be a fictitious character used by Qaida in Iraq network to show that an Iraqi is leading the terrorist organization not foreigners.

    Recently, deadly bombings increased dramatically in Iraqi cities, raising fears that the war-torn country could again go back to earlier stages of chaos and bloodshed.

    The violence came only over a month ahead of a withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraqi cities by the June 30 deadline, which some fear may incur a resurgence of violence. U.S. combat troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, and only some 35,000 to 50,000 soldiers will remain in the country for anti-terrorism duties.

Residents gather at the site of a suicide bombing in Baghdad April 23, 2009. A suicide bomber wearing a vest stuffed with explosives blew himself up in a group of police distributing relief supplies in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 50, Iraqi police said.

Residents gather at the site of a suicide bombing in Baghdad April 23, 2009. A suicide bomber wearing a vest stuffed with explosives blew himself up in a group of police distributing relief supplies in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 50, Iraqi police said.
(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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Iraqi security forces capture al-Qaida top leader

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Editor: Yan
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